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View Full Version : A little bit of a rant.



Chako
03-06-2008, 10:05 PM
Today I received a flyer from the company that used to be Radio Shack with the newspaper. On the third page, they list an Asus Eee Mobile PC 4GB for 400 dollars. Since I have never heard of this thing, I did some quick online research. I found out that it has a 7" screen that is 800x480, is super small, weights around 2 pounds, and has a lot of cool features.

Well, I have been looking for something that I could easily bring to each classroom (this semester, I am now teaching in 3 separate classrooms that are all over the building) for the sole purpose of running Markbook, a window application used for well...you guessed it, marking.

This small Asus Eee PC looks like just the ticket. It comes with Linux and a whole bunch of applications, however, I have found out that I can install Windows XP on it, upgrade the RAM, and use SD cards to supplement the 4gig only flash HD. The specs aren't much, but it would be enough to accomplish what I need it to do, and that would be an ultra portable laptop to be used solely for marking and other teacher specific jobs. In fact, Asus has kindly given all the drivers required to use XP on the machine, plus I can re-install the Linux OS if it doesn't work out (not great as there is no Linux version of Markbook).

So after some research, I go down to the store formerly known as Radio Shack in the Cambrian Mall and ask the manager if I can see one. He tells me that they don't carry it. I ask how this is as its listed in their flyer. He tells me that its only for internet purchase. I continue to talk to him, and he looks up on his PC and tells me they might be getting one in sometime, but no dates could be given. I was really hoping to see this micro laptop and was well prepared to walk out with one right there and then. He tells me that their flyers are made months in advance, and that because they are a national chain, they can't get all the products on their shelves. I respond that if the flyers are made that much in advance, it should be easier to ensure that stock reaches their chain stores. I leave very frustrated.

I think to myself, well, there is another store in town in the Station Mall. I drive down there and the young fellow behind the desk tells me they don't sell anything like that. I tell him that its in the flyer. He replies that he couldn't even get one in. I leave angry that I wasted my time trying to get an item in their sales flyer. If you are going to list something, at least freaking carry it.

Well, I have done more online research and this thing is most definitely what I need. I have a full sized laptop, but something this light and portable, I wouldn't mind carrying around with me all the time. It is just big enough to have XP and some other programs on it. Perfect. I am prepared to visit a few other "computer stores" soon to see if they can order me one. Somehow, the stores formerly known as Radio Shack have lost me as a customer.

Thanks for letting me vent.

If you’re interested in learning more about this device, here are a few good links.

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4055

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_PC

oneof3
03-06-2008, 10:22 PM
Not that this is something that you would attempt, but there are quite a few very cool mods for this.

Chako
03-06-2008, 10:36 PM
I know. The more I look at it, the more I know it would be a shame to install XP on it. Linux looks fairly good, but it won't run Markbook. That is a shame.

Well I have my old copy of XP waiting for a new home. Now all I need to do is find a place that will sell me one locally. I am not all that fond of buying online.

filthy
03-06-2008, 10:52 PM
Yes it is very sweet, wit hSSD storage you don't have to worry about any moving parts in the hard drive and uses less power.

I did see some with 8GB storage...I wouldn't go XP with 4GB, or maybe tag along a 2.5" slim external HDD.

mboy67
03-06-2008, 11:05 PM
http://www.ncix.com/go-asus_eeepc/

Chako
03-06-2008, 11:44 PM
Filthy, all I need is XP and Markbook along with free office. I think I can fit all of that into 4Gb. All the rest can be stored on an 8Gb SDHC memory card that will fit into the built in memory card reader. Hmmm..the 8Gb version looks better for 100 more.

I am going to look for a local store before I even think of buying online. From what I see, the price is the same either way.

Strife
03-06-2008, 11:53 PM
NCIX is very safe to buy from. Tons of people on this site order from there and I have hardly seen any problems with them. I once ordered a video card and a hd from them and even though the video card was backordered, they still had it to me in 7 days. Pretty good first impression

mboy67
03-07-2008, 12:09 AM
I average a order a week with them with about a 1% return rate. they have a shipping special right now so with the tax saving u will get it cheaper then anywhere in town if they had one.

filthy
03-07-2008, 11:11 AM
Well I don't order as much as Mboy...lol, but I spent over $1500 last year between NCIX and Direct Canada and am satisfied with their service.

Strife
03-07-2008, 11:24 AM
Also another company you might wanna loos into is Averatec. Last I heard they had a 10" model that has Windows XP installed from factory and will do just about what you are asking and a little more. Its been a long time since I have heard of them though. I'm not sure what they actually cost but their website says that Staples is a local retailer. Might be a cheap alternative for you.....

Chako
03-07-2008, 12:46 PM
I just ordered one from a local computer store. PDA is either Monday or Tuesday.

I am happy.

GirlNextDoor
03-07-2008, 12:54 PM
seen those back in the summer, they are selling like hotcakes worldwide because of the low price and how well they perform. planning on getting the kids one each for school.

Chako
03-11-2008, 10:51 AM
I just got mine in yesterday. My first impression is that it looks exactly like a miniature laptop. I am in the process of installing XP and the ASUS drivers. I found the Linux OS cute looking but I wasn't very used to it, and besides, my primary focus is to get markbook onto it for work. However, there is quite a few handy and useful software included in the Linux OS. I know I will miss the periodic table feature (going to see if there is a window version of it later today).

I used nLite to eliminate a lot of the stuff I don't need in XP. This handy guide is what I used to help me along the way.

http://howto.helpero.com/howto/Install-Windows-On-Asus-Eee-PC-Laptop_121.html

I did get stuck with trying to burn a bootable CD from the ISO image. I used Nero which I think worked, but then I came on here and got a referral to Magic ISO which did the trick nicely.

So now armed with a bootable nLited version of XP with service pack 2 added, I was able to use my portable Sony USB DVD burner to install it just like a countless million times before.

There is something to watch out for though. You have to be sure to delete all partitions, including the one called BIOS, otherwise you will get various errors.

After XP is running, then install your ASUS XP drivers from the CD. The little computer will reboot itself several times and then your done. This does take quite some time (I am in the process of this as I type). Everything so far is looking good.

The Asus drivers that get installed are:
-Intel Chipset Inf Update Program.
-Realtek Audio Driver.
-Atheros L2 Ethernet Driver.
-Atheros AR5007EG wireless LAN Driver.
-Intel Graphics Accelerator Driver.
=Synaptics TouchPad Driver.

Some more info for installing XP onto the little laptop.
http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4062

Oh oh, I wonder if I have to call MS to activate this old OS. My version came out pre service pack 1, and have had to call them quite a few times to activate it. Bets are on that it won’t accept my number. Only time will tell.

Chako
03-11-2008, 11:58 AM
So far the operation is a complete success. I now can use 800x600 screen resolution. Since the screen is only physically capable of showing 800x480, it does this neat little scroll in use.

What I am finding out is that 4Gb of storage is more then enough for all my productivity software. I have just installed MS Word 2003 and Corel Paint Shop Pro and both only took a little less then 500Mb of HD storage. Markbook is not a very large install either. I just checked out my HD storage space. So far, with the OS, MS Word, and Paint Shop Pro, I have used up 1.24Gb of storage, leaving me with 2.46Gb of free space, not to mention the multitude of SD cards I can use for extra storage space. Yipee.

Next step is to buy either a 1 or 2 Gig SODIMM DDr2 667MHz memory module.

The internet works like a charm. I was able to do everything wireless, which is a surprise as my net is old school CAT5 cable. That means someone around me has an unprotected wifi.

EDIT: No calling in either, It accepted the activation no problems.

millie
03-11-2008, 06:44 PM
Yes the store that you speak of is a joke.

Chako
03-11-2008, 06:58 PM
I agree. However, I do thank them obliquely for having it in their sales flyer. Otherwise, I would have never known about the device.